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My previous blog Success factors of a founding team highlighted the key traits of a winning startup team. But what happens as your company evolves into the next stage… growth.
Some day you will get to the point where you have, as Aaron Ross would say, nailed your niche in the market. Customers will come flooding in and in an instant the focus will shift out of the tunnel vision that is customer acquisition. Instead, you will be forced to turn your attention to the beast that is customer success. When you arrive at this precipice I hope, for your sanity and for the well-being of your company, that you will have already built a customer-service focused culture. But for those of you who are procrastinators – I urge you to set aside a few minutes and read the rest of this blog – your company’s future will depend on it!!
During the early days at any startup company, there never seems to be enough time in a day. There is without question more work to be done than time and available resources will permit. And while this can improve over time with sales, funding and a larger team, the challenge of balancing time and effort is never completely eliminated in any successful company, regardless of size. To address this on-going challenge, you must begin to evaluate the productivity levels of your individual team and your company as a whole.
In one of my previous BizGuides entitled, Congratulations, You Have Been Entrusted to be the CEO! … Now What?, I defined three models of CEOs from the perspective of an individual’s self-behavior: the “plate spinner”, the “one-man band” and the “conductor”. In this BizGuide I am going to dig deeper and examine the different types of management styles portrayed by the CEO/Manager with their direct reports/subordinates.
In the early stages of growing your startup company, signs of growth can be apparent everywhere you look: more customers, enhanced products, additional resources and a bigger team. As the company continues to grow, long-term success will depend on your ability to gauge and track progress based on identifying and measuring the right metrics. Unfortunately, as some organizations evolve they may fall into the trap of focusing on metrics that give the impression that the company is on a growth trajectory when in fact the reality may be very different.
In my previous BizGuide, entitled: Company Success Factors, I identified a “winning can-do attitude” to be one of the key indicators of a company’s future success. The bottom line is that successful people do not accomplish their goals single handedly but rather by assembling and building a great team, motivating them regularly and leading by example through action. My perspective is that this “can do” spirit has to start from the top.
Becoming a CEO is like becoming a new parent, there is no true user manual to guide you through every unique new challenge you will face along the way. You can read a multitude of books about “how to” raise a child; however, there will inevitably be unexpected curve balls, beyond what you already know and what you have read about.
One of the key reasons founders start a new company comes from their desire to change the way things are being done. These innovators have identified new ways to disrupt the status quo of a current process/product. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines “status” quo as “the current situation, the way things are now”. Unfortunately, although startup companies launch their operations with the notion of being innovative and becoming change agents, as time progresses, some of them become comfortable with the status quo and stop innovating.
This third blog completes “The Success Factors Blog Trilogy” series. A technology company consists of a number of functional groups which, in turn, are made up of individual contributors. The trilogy defines the main success factors associated with these 3 elements: the individual contributor (first blog), a founding team (second blog) and finally, the company as a whole (third blog). In order to have an outstanding outcome for any venture, all three elements must accomplish their respective goals and objectives effectively.
This blog highlights the key traits of a winning team. It is the second installment of what I’m referring to as the ‘Success Factors Trilogy’ and focuses on success factors associated specifically with a founding team. The first article of the trilogy focused on personal success factors and the fundamental indicators that help to identify an individual as a high performer. The third part of the trilogy will cover success factors as they relate to a company.
This next blog in the BizGuides Series pinpoints the key traits of an individual that a company should mark as leading indicators for future performance. These traits should also serve as a guide for an individual seeking to attain peak performance.
Welcome to my blog. I wanted to take the time and share some of my experiences with those that may benefit as you make your way to growing your companies, and dreams. Know that you are not alone.